We have already come far in terms of workplace safety, with employers taking a more active stance in protecting the health and safety of their workers over the last decade or so.
However, even with all the measures in place, workplace accidents still occur. Then again, such is the nature of accidents. We can put up everything we can to prevent them, but not all of them can be avoided. That’s why it’s doubly important for employers and employees alike to know what to do after an incident in the workplace. After all, how people respond is crucial to the ultimate outcome of the workplace accident. Here are the things you need to do after an accident in the workplace.
Get medical attention immediately
Everything else should take a backseat to providing medical attention to the victim of a workplace accident. Any failure to administer first aid or call 911 for serious injuries could prove disastrous on so many levels not only for the victim but the company and its management as well.
In fact, even in cases where the injuries are relatively minor or don’t require emergency attention, management should still encourage the employee to seek medical attention immediately.
Report the incident
Once proper medical care has been administered to the victim of the accident, a report about it must then be filed with higher authority, whether it’s the HR supervisor or manager. Aside from documentation purposes, such reports are also necessary for facilitating workers’ compensation claims, which the injured employee has every right to file.
As for documentation, it is important for both management and the injured party to take note of everything that happened. Most people have smartphones, so taking photos of the incident should be fairly easy for management and witnesses. Speaking of witnesses, statements from them should also be taken because they can come in handy if and when an investigation or a lawsuit is initiated.
Launch an investigation
The management must investigate the incident. Workplace accidents could have been caused by many factors, whether it’s the equipment, the environment, or the injured worker himself or herself, particularly those who are later found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident.
Put solutions in place
Once the investigation is done and the cause identified, management should take appropriate action. If the accident was caused by equipment failure or some problem with the workplace itself, management has to put up measures to prevent similar incidents from taking place. However, if a worker is found to have been working impaired by any substance, HR can initiate proceedings that will look into the matter further so it can come up with the appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with company policy and existing labor laws.
In many cases, workplace accidents have paved the way for legal proceedings. Should any litigation stem from any workplace accident, both employer and employee have to secure the services of an experienced lawyer to represent them in court.